Europe tightens screws on Apple, other U.S.-based tech firms

“Europe is zeroing in on U.S. tech companies amid rising trans-Atlantic trade tensions,” Natalia Drozdiak and Sam Schechner report for The Wall Street Journal. “France on Wednesday petitioned to fine Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL 1.24%▲ Google for allegedly taking advantage of smaller French software developers. A complaint filed by the finance ministry asked a Paris court to order the companies to end ‘abusive commercial practices.'”

“In Brussels, the European Union next week plans to announce two new legislative proposals to increase taxes on tech giants,” Drozdiak and Schechner report. “Although the EU has been working on the new rules since last year, the announcement of the proposals, which will hit squarely at the U.S.’s largest tech firms, comes as tensions between Brussels and Washington have escalated over trade.”

“The commission wants to account for virtual operations, such as targeted advertisements a search-engine sells using data collected in a country where it has no permanent establishment. As part of the EU’s tax package, it will likely tax tech firms’ revenue, as opposed to profit,” Drozdiak and Schechner report. “France has led the push to increase taxes on the tech companies, calling on the commission to propose the short-term measures. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and others argue that tech giants use legal loopholes to shift too much profit to low-tax jurisdictions, and that Europe must tax revenue instead until laws can be changed to stamp out such practices.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All EU member countries, including low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland and higher ones like Germany, must agree unanimously on tax matters.

Good luck with that.

France to sue Apple, Google over developer contracts – March 14, 2018


    1. Money grab.

      After brexit, they’re hurting for cash to pay for all those social programs and bureacrat salaries / pensions. Not to mention all those thousands of horny young, erm, I mean upstanding citizens that they’ve recently allowed to come in to live among their sons & daughters. Fresh breeding stock. So nice…

      Germany hasn’t had to pay for National Defense for 70 years.

      Trump’s gonna threaten to smack’em with tarriffs, which will cause German recession.

      Expect Brussels to be in a world of hurt soon. Junker needs his ass kicked.

    2. You can repeat something as much as you like, but that does not make it any more true. Besides, your assertion is meaningless.

      I am not siding with the EU, but I respect that fact that the European nations are attempting to come to grips with recent economic shift and the growing flow of revenue to multi-national players in the tech sector, including Apple. Taxes are not theft, and taxation needs to match expenditures (unless you prefer unbalance, irrational borrowing for some reason). If you track the evolution of U.S. tax revenues over the years, you will note a long term decline in the percentage of taxes collected from corporations. That tax burden has to go somewhere – the individual – in the form of taxes, fees, tolls, etc. But worker wages did not increase to compensate for that shift of the tax burden. Instead, tax cuts enabled corporations to increase profits and shift jobs overseas while critical infrastructure began crumbling and the national debt soared. The Trump tax cuts will end up with the same type of economic crash that followed the tax-cut-and-spend policies of Reagan and W. Bush – around six years later, the American worker takes it up the a$$ again while corporations pass the losses on to us and keep acting stupid.

  1. “French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and others argue that tech giants use legal loopholes to shift too much profit to low-tax jurisdictions”

    Here’s a thought: Close the loopholes instead of adding another tax.

    1. Doesn’t matter what they do, the American right wing press will label any change to be bad overregulation. I have seen a law passed that significantly dropped tax rates in many areas but slightly increased them in a few, overall a massive improvement to the affected companies, and still it was painted by the right wing as a horrible imposition on corporate sovereignty. 0% taxation wouldn’t be low enough for the whiny extremists.

      Here is the summary from a few years ago. will the Tea Partiers specifically point to where the tax rates the EU places on foreign corporations is unfair?

      Interesting that you can cheer for a 25% tax on politically chosen imports while whining that the “fourth reich” is evil for managing the market economy in a more transparent manner with generally lower trade barriers.

      1. I take it you’re not familiar with the never ending fees, fines, taxes, retro-taxes, that it is common for the EU to impose upon American companies just as a means to grab money. It’s almost like clockwork.

        “Oh no! Our free health care system is out of money and about to collapse again! What can we do???”

        “Sue Apple and Google for a few billion. If you can’t find anything, create a law and sue them retro.”

  2. EU acting just like US Democrats. Predictable.

    Have to always find new sources to tax to pay for their social programs, giveaways and want-something-for-nothing constituents. Keep everybody on a dole a bit so they can keep their poisonous income redistribution schemes running.

    In Scandinavia they now get 24% sales tax, about 35% middle class income tax, they have heavy ‘environmental’ taxes on vehicles every single year, 75% of the price of gasoline is tax, luxury taxes every single year based on your wealth (even though you paid those taxes over and over again), dog tax, stamp tax, it never ends.

    Now as they has taxed everyone to death, they then go after foreign companies for more taxes by declaring them tax cheats, even though the taxes on their products are paid in spades at the point of purchase.

    They also want to tax foreign airlines all of their flights, even for route outside of EU airspace. Lots more too.

    This is where you go with this stuff. All the US tech companies will get defined in some way or another as tax cheats, or tax evaders, or tax avoiders. Get ready to enjoy the fun.

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